Stroke is a layman’s term for a medical condition called cardiovascular accident. Stroke is the number 5 leading cause of death and disabilities in Ghana and the United States of America by WHO.
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading “to and within” the brain.
For us to understand the cause of this disease, we need to know what an artery or arteries are.
Under this study, we will describe Arteries as Blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood to the brain from the heart. The brain needs a constant supply of blood, which contains the needed oxygen and nutrients to function. Specific arteries supply blood to specific areas of the brain.
A stroke occurs when the blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (ruptures). When this occurs, part of the brain cannot get the blood it needs, so it and brain cells die off.
The blockade in the arteries (blood vessel) is as a result of a plaque (fatty substance in the walls of the artery) or blood clot.
This blockade slows down the flow of blood to the brain and accidentally causes that portion of the brain to die off. The blockade also build pressure within the arteries and causes the blood vessel to bulge up and later burst or rupture therefore preventing blood to the brain.
Types of stroke
Stroke can be grouped into types depending on how it occurs.
- Ischemic stroke: this is the most common type of stroke and it account for about 87% of all stroke in Ghana. Ischemic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain is blocked or vessel supplying blood to the brain is obstructed. There are two kinds of ischemic stroke which are Embolic stroke and thrombotic stroke.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: this makes up of 13% cases of stroke in Ghana. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when blood vessel in the brain bursts and spills blood into or around the brain. The blood accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue. The weakness of the blood vessel is as a result of high blood pressure [hypertension] and aneurysms [An aneurysm is a weak spot on the wall of an artery that bulges out into a thin bubble]. There are two kinds of hemorrhage stroke namely, intracerebral (within the brain) hemorrhage or subarachnoid hemorrhage.
- Transient ischemic attack: is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain. If an artery in the brain or one that goes to the brain is blocked for a short time, blood flow slows down or stops. This can cause a transient ischemic attack, sometimes called a mini-stroke.
- Cryptogenic Stroke: In most cases, a stroke is caused by a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood to the brain. In some instances, despite testing, the cause of a stroke can’t be determined. This is called a cryptogenic stroke. It’s estimated that about 1 in 3 ischemic strokes are cryptogenic.
Note: much emphasis will be placed on the types of cardiovascular accident in our subsequent write-ups.
Effect of stroke
The effects of a stroke depend on several factors, including the location of the obstruction and how much brain tissue is affected. However, because one side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body, a stroke affecting one side will result in neurological complications on the side of the body it affects
The brain is divided into left and right hemisphere.
If the stroke occurs in the left side of the brain, the right side of the body will be affected, producing some or all of the following:
Paralysis on the right side of the body
Slow, cautious behavioral style
If the stroke occurs in the right side of the brain, the left side of the body will be affected, producing some or all of the following:
Paralysis on the left side of the body
Quick, inquisitive behavioral style
When stroke occurs in the brain stem, depending on the severity of the injury, it can affect both sides of the body and may leave someone in a ‘locked-in’ state. When a locked-in state occurs, the patient is generally unable to speak or achieve any movement below the neck.
Symptoms of stroke:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
If any of these symptoms persist, do not be in despair, Contact us on +233505721405 or locate us at E6, Ashaley Botwe Nmai Dzorn Road, Adenta Ritz Junction.
At ESTHER’S PLACE WELLBEING HUB, we design a treatment modality such as Psychological, Nutritional and Physiotherapy aid to avert and improve the degree of damage caused to the body.
We also help to prevent future occurrence of stroke after going through an assessment to determine if there is any possibilities.
Esther’s Place Well-being Hub, we make healthcare accessible and affordable to all, especially the aged.